QUESTION: Am considering a master degree in Security Studies or Intelligence. Will that open doors for me?
ANSWER: Maybe. Probably not. I do not recommend pursuing either degree, unless you already have a security clearance and are employed within the world of intelligence on the government side of the house.
These degrees are great for expanding your understanding of how these domains work and are structured … and certainly good for understanding the various forms of bureaucracy involved that are essential to being successful — BUT these degrees are not great for being dooropeners.
Employers want to hire people that solve problems.
A dooropener degree should be one that indicates: ‘I know about X, which prepares me to be able to deal with problems A, B and C.
Dooropener degrees could be technical (IT, STEM) but also involve Finance, Distributed Smart Logistics, Enterprise Systems, International Commerce and Banking, Business, Intelligent Architecture, Industrial Production, Robotics, Computational Linguistics, etc.
Want Doors to Open?
Regardless of your core area of expertise or interest in intelligence, I strongly recommend pursuing the world of GEOINT – Geospatial Intelligence.
GEOINT is as much in demand in commercial industry as it is in government or military career fields.
GEOINT plays a central role within all INTs. That role will only grow in importance in the future.
One degree in particular with a bright future ahead of it is George Mason University’s Geo Informatics and Geospatial Intelligence degree: https://cos.gmu.edu/ggs/academic-programs/ms-in-geoinformatics-and-geospatial-intelligence/
>>> Other schools also offer GEOINT, or similar programs. If your objective is to work in the U.S. DoD or IntelligenceCommunity (IC) then consider a school that is part of the IC Centers for Academic Excellence.
GEOINT is the future for all intelligence disciplines by its ability to consider multidimensional aspects of who and what, when and where, and in relationship of one thing to another.